The Isle of Man Passport, Immigration and Nationality Office has announced a new English language requirement for foreign nationals applying to settle permanently in the Island or taking up British Citizenship here.
The change, which take effect from October 28 this year, is in line with a UK move to ensure that all applicants can speak English well enough to assist with their integration into the community.
Foreign nationals who apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (settlement) or to become a British Citizen (Naturalisation) in the Isle of Man have to demonstrate, in addition to other criteria, their knowledge of language and life in the UK and Islands.
Currently there are two ways to meet this requirement:
By passing the Life in the UK and Islands test, a test based on the Life in the UK handbook and the Isle of Man Supplement, and taken at the Isle of Man College;
By obtaining a speaking and listening qualification in English for Speakers of other Languages (ESOL) (with Citizenship content) at Entry levels 1, 2 or 3. This course is also available at the Isle of Man College. (People who entered the Isle of Man on a work route cannot use this method to meet the requirement).
From October 28, 2013, applicants who wish to meet the knowledge of language and life in the UK and Islands requirement by passing the Life in the UK and Islands test, which is a written test, will also be expected to have an English speaking and listening qualification (at level B1 of the Common European Framework of reference for languages or an equivalent qualification.)
It is expected that a relevant speaking and listening test will be available at the Isle of Man College from October. It is envisaged that there will be one test per quarter, with a requirement to book a month in advance. Details of dates will be available in due course.
Further information can be found on the Immigration Office website.